Professional Basketball player of Ukranian descent Oleksiy Alex Len, runs with the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Prior to his drafting to the NBA, he played for a season in his home country’s professional basketball team called BC Dnipro of the Ukrainian Basketball Super League. He also had a two-season stint with the Maryland Terrapins.
Who Is Alex Len? – Bio
Len was born on June 6, 1993, in Luhansk, Ukraine. His mother Yulia was a running athlete in her own right in her younger years. Len started playing in 2006 and continued while he was a student at Dnipropetrovsk Higher College in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. He was part of the Ukrainian national team during the FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship. He also participated in the FIBA Europe under-18 Championship in 2010. Len was named fourth scorer, best shot blocker and second-best rebounder.
Having proven his worth, he subsequently became a member of the BC Dnipro of the Ukrainian Basketball team and was with the team for the 2010-2011 season. Len joined the University of Maryland Basketball team in 2011 after gaining an athletic scholarship facilitated by then-coach Gary Williams. Williams’ successor Mark Turgeon helped complete Len’s move to the new school and team after he took over the reins of the team.
The young player averaged 6 points, 2.1 blocks and 5.4 rebounds per game during his freshman year. This was not a particularly stellar performance but things picked up in his sophomore season with an outstanding season opener against the Kentucky Wildcats when he scored 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks. More notably, he held ESPN number one player of the recruiting class of 2012 Nerlens Noel to 4 points, 3 blocks and 9 rebounds. That season, Len averaged 11.9 points per game.
He was selected fifth overall by the Phoenix Suns in the NBA draft of 2013 making him the second international born selection of the draft and first Phoenix Suns player taken from the Top 5 NBA since 1987. Despite his good ranking in the selection, a right ankle injury and surgery prevented Len from participating in the NBA Summer League of 2013. He however signed with the team in August 2013 and began practicing in September.
Len’s first NBA game with the Suns was a November 2013 game against the Utah Jazz which the Suns narrowly won. In the same month, Alex Lens sustained an injury on his left knee and was out of play for six weeks. He made the first double-double of his career in October 2014 in a game against the San Antonio Spurs.
His then career-highs were 10 points and 11 rebounds. He missed the last seven games of the 2014-2015 season as he had to undergo a surgery to fix his nose after it broke in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers. He participated in the 2015 NBA Summer League with the Suns and his averages were 10.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per games. Len recorded 19 double-doubles during the 2015-2016 season. He averaged 9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the season. These records were career highs.
After the 2016-2017 season, Len was a restricted free agent. In September 2017 he signed a one-year qualifying offer with the Phoenix Suns. He went on to score a career-high 19 rebounds in a victory over Minnesota Timberwolves. This stellar victory led him to sign a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks in August 2018.
5 Fast Facts You Need to Know about Alex Len
Alex Len signed a two-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks for $8.5 million. He earns $4,350,000 for the 2018-2019 season. He is billed to earn $4,160,000 for the 2019-2020 season
The NBA issued Alex Len a suspension for leaving the bench to enter the court during an altercation in a February 2017 game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2016-2017 season. He was suspended for one game without pay. The Phoenix Suns lost the game to the Memphis Grizzlies.
3. 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers
Len was selected to play for the Ukrainian senior national basketball team for the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in August 2018. This was his first invitation to the senior national team.
4. Len-d A Hand Foundation
Alex Len and his mother Yulia set-up the Len-d A Hand Foundation in December 2015 with the mission “to enhance quality of life for impoverished children youth and families”. The Foundation has been actively reaching out to youth in Phoenix, Arizona.
5. Height, Weight
Alex Len is a giant of a man, a stature that comes in handy on the court. He stands at a towering 7 ft 1″ (2.16 m). He weighs 250 lbs. (113 kg)